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COVID Protection Program

By Ivie Li

As the school year continues, it is no doubt that it will be a unique one. After being in quarantine for months, New Hyde Park Memorial students now have to either learn from home or return to school wearing a mask and maintaining six feet apart from their friends.

While those at home switch between Google Meets on their iPads, hybrid students start the day by showing the security guard their COVID-19 Daily Screening App in order to enter the building. Lockers are no longer available, and students need to follow one-way arrows in the hallways and staircases to get to class.

In class, desks are arranged six feet apart, allowing a significantly smaller number of students to be in one classroom. Desks and doorknobs are sprayed, hand sanitizer is provided, and bathrooms are cleaned in between each period to ensure a sanitary environment for staff and students. Because equipment is currently unavailable, gym teachers allow students to walk the track in every other lane and perform socially distanced workouts. Lunch is socially distanced, and meals are free for students to take home for the next day.

Source by Anna Detke

Students in the cafeteria sit six feet apart to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Source by Anna Detke

One-way arrows are imprinted on the ground for students and teachers to follow.

Even bathroom procedures have changed: student ID numbers are required to sign in and out of the bathroom and only a few students are permitted in at a time. At the end of the day, students are released by floor to avoid congestion. The hybrid plan is also flexible; students can switch to fully remote whenever they want, which many have been doing throughout these first two months of school.

Clearly, school life is very different for New Hyde Park students, but many are becoming accustomed to it.

“What’s most different for me is being online because there are so many issues with technology. But, I’d rather be in school because I feel like I don’t get stuff done at home," said junior Briana Dunn.

As tedious as they may seem, all of these precautions are efforts by the administration to contact trace and provide students the closest experience they can to a typical year.

Source by Anna Detke

Sophomores Gabriella Bonetti, Anant Bhartiya, and Luke Jacob wear masks, a necessity for everyday life within the building.

As COVID-19 cases declined, businesses started to open up, fatality rates reduced, and numerous schools have welcomed students in hopes of resuming to a normal year. However, cases are still prevalent in schools in our region.

The administration has emphasized the need for those who do not feel well to stay home. Students are reminded to practice correct hand and respiratory hygiene with posters in the bathrooms and the halls. If a student or staff member is reported positive with COVID-19, the school is required to close down for a minimum of 48 hours.

The administration has also allowed clubs and extracurricular activities to be modified online to promote school spirit, and even remote students can participate in them. Community activities such as homecoming have also been moved to the springtime, and teachers are focused on the well-being of New Hyde Park students more than ever by reminding them to take time away from their screens and enjoy being outside.

All of these modifications are efforts by the administration in hopes of making students feel safe in their learning environment, so it is paramount for students to maintain a positive outlook. Although students may find it tedious to have to sign in every time to use the bathroom, be separated from friends because they are at the other end of the alphabet, or be dismissed last, at least students know that they are maintaining a safe environment for their families and everyone else in the NHP community.


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